Sunday, December 03, 2023

Lesson 3 – Introduction to Power BI Service

Power BI Service or Power BI Online is a cloud hosted Software as a Service component of Power BI. Power BI Service allow users to share and collaborate with the Power BI Reports. Whether you are a Report Writer or a Report Consumer, to access the reports hosted on Power BI Service you need to have a Power BI License.

Power BI Service Licenses

Free per user license

You can create a free Power BI Service account from ( With free license, users can only create content in “My workspace” and consume content that is hosted in a Premium workspace. 
The license type can be checked by clicking View account as shown below.

You need to have either a Power BI Pro or Premium Per User (PPU) License if you want to publish and share reports within or outside your organization.

Power BI Pro License

Power BI Pro license is an individual user license that allow users to create, share and view reports created by other users. With this license they can share reports and dashboards with other pro users. If the reports and dashboards are hosted on Power BI premium capacity, then pro users can share content with Free and PPU users also.

Premium per user (PPU) license

Premium per user license is an individual user license that provides all capabilities of Power BI Pro in addition access to Premium capacity features. The reports and dashboards that are shared by a PPU user can be shared with other users who have a PPU license, or it needs to be hosted on a Premium capacity workspace.

Premium Capacity

Premium Capacity allow Pro or PPU users to create and save reports and dashboards in Premium capacity workspaces. 

Power BI Pricing (as on 20/05/2023)

Note: Check this link for latest pricing.

Components of Power BI Service

Once the report writers have created the reports then the best way to collaborate and share them with other users is to publish them using Power BI Service.


Workspaces are basically containers or folders that can have dashboards, reports, apps, datasets and dataflows. There are 2 types of workspaces in Power BI Service.

My Workspace – Personal workspace for any Power BI user to work with their own content. Only they have access to their workspace.

Workspaces – Create other workspaces to share and collaborate content with other uses inside or outside your organisation.


Apps are mainly the easy mechanism for sharing many types of content at the same time. Report writers can bundle their dashboards, reports, and datasets. The apps can just be viewed by the users, but they can’t edit them. Sharing multiple reports and dashboards are quite easy with an app. 


Dataflows allow organisations to unify data from disparate data sources. They promote single source of the truth whereby data can be collected, cleansed, transformed and business logic can be applied once, and reports can consume from the same source of the truth.


Datasets are a collection of data that is either imported or connected to. Datasets are part of workspaces, and a single dataset can be part of multiple workspaces. Each dataset can also be a source of one more report.


A Power BI report is a collection of one more page with Visualizations or visuals. All visualizations for the report come from a single dataset. Reports come with 2 views reading and editing view. Power BI report can be created using Power BI Desktop or Power BI Service.


Dashboards are always single page and is a collection of visuals pinned from one or multiple reports. You can also pin an entire report in a single dashboard tile. Dashboards are always one page and can be created only using Power BI Service.

Useful Information

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Useful links
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